Bach Can Save The World: Preview of our Artists for Upcoming Release
Spotlighting Our Community of Artists & Fans Sharing Why Music Matters in a Q&A Format every Thursday
Shanice Aaron, pianist, & Daniel Lim, cellist, perform in the Spiritual Bliss with Bach Playlist which will be released on July 1, 2020 on our YouTube Channel at 12:15pm PST to inspire hope and inner peace.
Tell us about your collaboration- how did you meet? Have you worked together before?
Shanice: We met at the Hawaii Chamber Music Festival in Summer 2019, in Honolulu. I never performed with him there. But I always wanted to play with him.
Bach composed a lot of great chamber music for cello and piano which is one of my favorite collaborations to do. This worked really well, because Daniel and I both live in LA.
I want to thank Daniel for doing this collab with me! He's a very talented cellist!
Daniel: I met Shanice at the Hawaii Chamber Music Festival in August 2019. After that we kept in touch and she reached out to me about this really really great opportunity.
I agreed to do this performance with her.
It’s our first time playing together. She’s a great pianist. It was a lot of fun.
How much preparation did this playlist take? How many hours of practice individually and then together?
Shanice: We recorded this at my house on my iPhone with a studio light. This is my first ever live chamber recording that I did at my house. Because of the pandemic, all the concert halls are closed so we had to work with what we have. I practiced as a pianist 4-5 hours a day because I have a lot of notes. Especially the JC Bach Cello Concerto. I have the orchestra part. I have to support the soloist, Daniel, so he can play as a soloist in a comfortable way. I really had to interpret the music and listen to a lot of recordings.
Daniel: We decided on the program 2-3 weeks before we met in person. Preparation was individual practice, both on mine and Shanice’s part. We met in person once, rehearsed everything, and recorded on the same day over 3-4 hours.
Daniel, tell us about your background in music?
I was born and raised in LA. I started off on the piano actually when I was 4 years old. When I was 6, I started playing violin.
I played for about 3 years and what’s funny is I really didn’t like playing the violin. Because I hated standing in violin class for about an hour. So I decided to move onto the next instrument which is the cello. And that worked out great for me when I found out that you didn’t need to stand. You can sit. You would sit all the time. So I started playing the cello when I was 9.
I spent 7 years on the East Coast for my collegiate studies. I studied at the New England Conservatory in Boston, and the Cleveland Institute of Music in Cleveland, Ohio.
After finishing my studies, I returned to LA to work as a freelance musician and cello teacher for the past 5 years.
What does this playlist mean to you?
Shanice: JC and JS Bach compose sacred pieces. Their compositions were played in church which are musically thrilling and spiritually profound.
We hope our audience feels an emotional connection to themselves and finds an inner peace through this pandemic… to feel as they are in church or in a spiritual place. Church is a safe place where you connect with God and your feelings. I hope this playlist gives hope through these hard times.
Daniel: For me, when thinking about Bach, there is a lot of sentimental significance. I remember the very very first piece of music I ever listened to as a kid was Bach’s 1st Cello Suite which has the famous prelude and where the Gigue that I play in one of the recordings is also a part of. His music has a profound impact on my life, not only as a musician, but as a human. It’s really shaped who I am. Bach is an extremely inspiring and just beautiful composer, who I’m immediately attached to.
Why all Bach? Why did you choose these pieces?
Shanice: Bach is frequently performed everywhere and recognizable. Especially Ave Maria, so comforting and spiritual. Bach has a connection to God. I want the audience to feel spiritually connected.
I feel like Bach can save the world.
We are living in such difficult times, rallying to seek justice in their countries, and Bach helps find peace, faith, and solidarity.
Daniel: Bach was an extremely innovative composer during his time, he lived in the 1600’s. Music was underdeveloped because of the time period he lived in. What was so amazing about his music is he was incorporating so many ideas that were just kind of... even to today... is just mind blowing. Extremely unique and um, his legacy and mark on the history of music, has had a domino effect. So many composers who came after him- Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Debussy, Stravinsky, of course Charles Gounod, JC Bach, in addition to film composers, even jazz artists, so many people were inspired by this man’s work. They often used his compositional methods and also, really quoted a lot of his work in every composer's respective work to honor and recognize his legacy. That was kind of the whole concept behind this playlist.
Why do you think this playlist aligns with the mission of Mindful Music?
Shanice: Mission to help relieve stress. Bach’s music is intimate and communicates with the audience. Melancholy, loneliness, and happiness... you can feel all kinds of emotions while listening to Bach.
Daniel: These pieces give up a wide variety of feelings and emotions that could be relieving but also inspiring to a lot of people who listen to this.
Ave Maria, starts off with a sense of calmness and ease and is very pristine. It’s incredibly relaxing to the human ear.
The JC Bach might sound sad, yearnfulness, sorry that’s probably not a word, a little bit of sorrow. The way he writes out these emotions, he does it in such a beautiful way.
Last but not least, the Gigue, very happy, exuberant, joyful, I felt that I wanted to show a wide variety of emotions and colors.
Instead of honing in on a certain set of emotions, we wanted to give the listener a full satisfying experience.
We are living in such a high stress environment during the pandemic and I really want the audience to forget that. We hope the music relieves stress and Bach is the perfect composer.
What do you hope to say through this playlist?
Shanice: I want to dedicate the performance to the Healthcare workers who are helping us through COVID19. Bach can really bring the light through these dark times.
Daniel: I hope to give some sort of inspiration and some sort of hope that everything will be okay and things will be better. We all know that these are some trying times, this gives you guys some sense of inspiration and hope.
I was hoping to give some sort of insight and context on JS Bach and the importance of his legacy and his mark on music.
A lot of musical works, including other musical genres- jazz, rock, pop- have some sort of correlation to Bach. Like I said before, the domino effect- Bach inspired Brahms, who inspired Debussy, who inspired Stravinsky, who inspired John Williams, and jazz artists such as Miles Davis. They are all intertwined. That’s what I hope to say.
What is your goal as an artist?
Shanice: During this pandemic, I’ve had many special encounters, one of them is playing for the LA Emergency Management Department. My collaboration videos were featured on Twitch video shared to raise money for the Minneapolis community, to stand with solidarity. We’ve had a lot of solidarity movements.
The goal for art is not to entertain ourselves, it's to entertain the audience. I hope to show the way.
Daniel: If I had to sum it up in one general thing, I would say, my main goal as an artist is: Never stop asking, never stop wondering, never stop discovering.
The reason I say this is during my time as a performing musician, which to be honest is relatively smaller compared to my colleagues, I’ve learned quite a lot.
While I’ve learned these things, I have something new to always learn. During this whole quarantine, since I have more time, I’ve learned how to make videos, I’ve learned how to compose and arrange music. That’s all very important. That’s what continues to drive and inspire me as an artist. It’s quite beautiful, it’s really what makes music such a beautiful art form. That’s why I find being a musician is incredibly fulfilling and meaningful. I will learn something new every day for the rest of my life. It’s extremely inspiring. So that’s kind of my main goal as an artist and I can also say to sound good and play in tune.[Haha, that’s kind of a joke.]
Interview conducted & written by Dalida Arakelian